Surfing legends honoured

2017-03-21 06:02
Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame inductees with their commemorative certificates at the official opening of South Africa’s first national monument to surfing.

Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame inductees with their commemorative certificates at the official opening of South Africa’s first national monument to surfing.

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South African surfing icons were honoured at the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame on Sunday when tablets commemorating the first 30 inductees who established and developed the sport and lifestyle in the country were officially unveiled in Muizenberg.

The inductees, a selection of pioneers, legends and world champions, had their names recorded for posterity in the country’s first national monument dedicated to surfing, which is located on the beachfront.

They range from Heather Price, the first South African recorded riding a wave standing on a surfboard at Muizenberg in 1919, to Justin Strong who won the ASP World Pro-Am title in 1991.

South Africa’s most famous surfing personality, Shaun Tomson, delivered a heartfelt talk on the importance of preserving and promoting surfing’s heritage before fittingly cutting a surfboard leash to open the monument.

Tomson, the 1977 ASP world champion, is touring the country promoting his book The code. He has become an author, filmmaker and motivational speaker and is acknowledged as one of the world’s most influential surfers.

Other high-profile inductees in attendance included multiple national champion and Springbok team captain in the 1960s and early ’70s, George Thompson, who flew in from England for the occasion, Jeffreys Bay’s Cheron Kraak, 1978 ISA world champion Ant Brodowicz and Graham Hynes, the former owner of Safari Surfboards and arguably the world’s best surfing coach.

After the completion of the public opening ceremony at the monument, the inductees and VIPs attended a function where they were treated to speeches by former local councillor Dave D’Alton, Muizenberg Improvement District’s Chevone Peterson, Surfing South Africa deputy president Bruce Anderson and former United Surfing Council of South Africa secretary-general Schani Nagia.

The national monument on the beachfront has been seven years in the making, stemming from the highly successful Surfers’ Corner 60s reunion in 2010. This was followed by the launch of the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame in 2014 when the first 12 pioneers, three each from Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London, were selected.

The monument’s committee is in the process of forming an NPO to run the project, raise donations for the ultimate aim of erecting a suitable statue to complement the plaques and to the select the inductees, who will be officially ratified by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport.

V For more information on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame visit or Surfers.Circle.Muizenberg on Facebook.

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